Grading Out Caleb Hanie.................
Grading out Caleb Hanie
Bears' QB made made a couple of plays, but his overall production needs to improve quickly.
http://s7.addthis.com/static/btn/sm-share-en.gifPrint ThisNovember 27, 2011, 07:10 PM EST
http://cdn.cloudfiles.mosso.com/c191...static/NL3.png How would you grade out Caleb Hanie today? The Bears’ backup QB throws for 254 yards and 2 TDs (on 18 of 36 passing), but the 3 INTs were crucial in the 25-20 loss to the Raiders. Here are my game notes for Hanie—plus a final grade for the QB.
http://cdn.cloudfiles.mosso.com/c191...Picture-51.pngThere were some positives for Hanie today, but he has multiple areas of his game to improve on.
- On the TD throw to Johnny Knox, the Raiders were showing Cover 0 pressure (no safety help in the middle of the field). The Bears’ WR takes an inside stem off the line of scrimmage and Hanie hits him on the skinny post. A quick, basic read vs. man-pressure. Get the ball out and let your WR make a play for you. (This was a great read and delivery vs an all out blitz. It proves to me that Hanie has learned some things from watching film and from the bench duing his tenure as the Bears backup. He didn't panic. He recognized the defense immediately and made the right throw. No vet could have done this one any better)
- Showed some ability to move with the football when he broke contain. On the flip side, Bears’ coaches will want to see Hanie stand in the pocket and step into his throws with pressure at his feet. However, he can run the ball and move the sticks. (Hanie made some nice scrambles but he doesn't throw on the run as well as Cutler and he definitely can't throw off his back foot with the strength that Cutler can and shouldn't even try. If there's a bad habit he's picked up from watching Jay this is it.)
- The deep ball. We only saw it once and it came in the final 3 minutes. Straight 9 (fade) route to Knox (who looks like his top target) vs. Cover 2. Get on top of the deep half safety and separate with the ball in the air. Big throw for 81-yards that leads to Hanie connecting with TE Kellen Davis on the “Hi-Lo” concept for another TD. (As I said before the game the kid does have arm on him and throws a nice deep ball he just doesn't have the kind of velocity to fit the ball into tight windows that Cutler has. It's too bad his protection wasn't better earlier in the game so we could have challenged downfield more. One thing for certain is that this throw will have teams respecting his deep ball ablility in weeks to come.)
- Hanie has to learn to throw the ball away when he rolls to his right. Twice (with one resulting in his first INT), the Bears’ QB tried to make a throw down the field to a receiver converting his route. Unless you have an open window (and the arm strength), get rid of the ball and move on to the next play. (This is where his decision making needs to improve. He doesn't have the arm strength that Cutler has to just wrist those throws downfield. He made another bad decision later in the game on a throw to Knox off of a roll out to his right and it's a good thing the CB was following Knox man to man and the Safety was playing off or that one would have been picked too. You can do that crap in college but not in the NFL. He'll see that on film this week and I think that will be the end of it.)
- Quicker reads. This is one area Hanie can improve on and something that will need to be addressed this week in his film study. Find your No.1 read, set your feet and deliver the football. And when No.1 isn't open, move down to your No.2 read and then the check down. Needs to be much more efficient here and confident in the pocket. (Spot on! More than once we saw him hesitate just long enough for the rush to become a factor followed by him either forcing the throw late or he gets sacked. When he delays he also begins to telegraph his throw by fixing on his target trying to measure the throw. He got more confident as the game progressed and I think another week of working with his receivers and this bad habit will diminish)
- Decision making in the middle of the field. On the INT intended for Matt Forte running the stutter-seam, that ball has to be thrown early and in front of the safety. Instead, we saw Hanie float the ball into traffic. That’s an automatic turnover on Sundays. (He waited way too long and had to get the ball over a 6'6" DT and he just put it up for grabs. Even if he hadn't of overthrown it that kind of throw will get your receiver killed trying to catch it. Should have pulled it down and rolled away to his right and thrown it away if there was no receiver open in the right flat. This is another mistake I don't think we'll see him make again just because he was trying too hard. Just another bad decision on his part and those will diminish with time)
- The red zone INT on the TE throwback screen. I don’t agree with the play call given the Bears were inside of the 10-yard line with a 7-6 lead. A “gadget” play that is really only a smart call out in the field. But, as poor as the call was from Martz, the QB has to know this defense. The Raiders are a Cover 1 (man-free) team. And down in the red zone, defenders react quicker and jump their coverage. Aaron Curry was breaking to the TE before Hanie even let go of that ball. A disastrous turnover that swung this game for Oakland. (Right on all three counts. This was another example of Martz ousmarting himself and his offense. Although Hanie should have read it, and a more experienced QB might have, why did Martz put him in that spot with that play call to begin with? That was 100% the wrong call against that defense and even though Hanie didn't know it (he couldn't have changed it if he wanted to) Martz should have known better. This one is at least 50% on Martz for a really dumb play call. It turned what would have been at worst a 10-9 lead into a 12-7 defecit)
My final grade: C-
The Bears are now a 7-4 football team. I still expect them to compete every Sunday because they can play defense and take the ball away. But if they want to be a playoff team, Hanie has to improve his game, make better decisions with the football and trust his ability to make the throws with Jay Cutler out of the lineup. (As usual Matt Bowen is right on target. I don't think anyone should lose their confidence in Hanie right now. He needs a little more practie time and a little more game time to sort this out. He showed a lot more confidence in his game in the second half than the first)
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